INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION
• The Indus Valley Civilization known was a Bronze Age
civilisation (3300–1300 BCE) in northwest Indian
subcontinent including present day Pakistan, northwest
India and also in some regions in northeast
• The Indus Civilization may have had a population of
more than 5 million.
• Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed
new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal
carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin).
• The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning,
baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water
supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential
• The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the
Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its
sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then
the Punjab province of British India, and is now in
TEXTILES AND CLOTHING
• Textiles are rarely preserved and Harappan figurines are usually unclothed, so there is not
much evidence of Harappan clothing.
• Small fragments of cloth preserved in the corrosion products of metal objects show that
the Harappans wove a range of grades of cotton cloth.
• Flax was grown and may have been used for fibres.
• Native Indian species of silkworm may have been utilised for silk.
• It is not known whether the Harappans raised woolly sheep, but their trade with
Mesopotamia probably brought them abundant supplies of Mesopotamian woolen
• The Harappans also probably continued the earlier tradition of making clothing from
• Dyeing facilities indicate that cotton cloth was probably dyed a range of colours, although
there is only one surviving fragment of coloured cloth, dyed red with madder; it is likely
that indigo and turmeric were also used as dyes.
• The limited depictions of clothing show that men wore a cloth around the waist,
resembling a modern dhoti and like it, often passed between the legs and tucked up
• The so-called "Priest-king" and other stone figures also wore a long robe over the left
shoulder, leaving bare the right shoulder and chest. 4
• Some male figurines are shown wearing a turban.
• Woman's clothing seems to have been a knee-length skirt they also used lipstick.
• Figurines and finds in graves show that Harappans of both sexes wore jewellery: hair
fillets, bead necklaces and bangles for men; bangles, earrings, rings, anklets, belts made
of strings of beads, pendants, chokers and numerous necklaces for women, as well as
elaborate hairstyles and headdresses.
• Many bangles were worn by women - thick ones above the elbow and narrower ones
below. For daily use they were made of terracotta. Gold and silver were valued equally,
the more detailed or painstakingly made a piece of jewelry the more valuable.
• Quite possibly dress may have been based on lengths of cloth that were folded and
draped in different ways.
• Such cloth could have been made of linen, cotton, or wool/animal hair.
• Skins also may have been used for cold weather and to make items like belts, quivers,
etc. Reeds/straw may have been woven for foot wear, although how often foot wear may
have been used is not known.
• The fan shaped headdress originally
had wide, cup-shaped extensions on
either side of the head framed by
• Four flowers are arranged on the
front of her headdress. This style of
headdress has been found only on
figures from Harappa and it appears
to have been most common during
the final phases of the mature
Harappan period, between 2200-
• Numerous strands of chokers and
pendant bead necklaces drape over
the breasts and extend to the waist.
• Traces of bangles are visible at the
broken ends of the arms which would
have been covered with them.
• The women is wearing a short skirt
belted with three strands of beads.
• The less common male figurines and rare
male statues wear their hair in a bun,
divided horizontally like a headband
reminiscent of a royal hairstyle in
• A few gold fillets have been found with
holes at the end for fastening them with
• Most men were bearded.
• This male head shows the typical
arrangement of the hair in a double bun,
held in place by a thin fillet tied at the
• The pattern of hair at the top of the
head suggests that it is braided.
• The "Priest King" wears an elaborately
decorated robe, draped to expose his
chest and right shoulder. This was
possibly a garment worn only by rulers or
Indus Valley gold, chiefly in jewellery, is very rare. The beads are
hollow, and in the pendant, thin gold lies over an organic
core. The pendant is in the form of a Indus River reed boat. All
told, the necklace is about 43 cm in length and weighs only about
Indus Valley craftsmen were
renowned for their ability to
produce fine beads, especially from
stones such as carnelian (an orange
to red quartz). Often the beads
were etched using lime and heat.
• The Vedic period (1500–500 BCE) was the period in Indian history during which the Vedas,
the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed.
• During the early part of the Vedic period, the Indo-Aryans settled into northern India,
bringing with them their specific religious traditions.
• The associated culture was initially a tribal, pastoral society centred in the north-western
parts of the Indian subcontinent; it spread after 1200 BCE to the Ganges Plain, as it was
shaped by increasing settled agriculture, a hierarchy of four social classes, and the
emergence of monarchical, state-level polities.
• The end of the Vedic period witnessed the rise of large, urbanized states as well as of
shramana movements (including Jainism and Buddhism) which challenged the Vedic
• Around the beginning of the Common Era, the Vedic tradition formed one of the main
constituents of the so-called "Hindu synthesis".
• The garments worn in Vedic times onwards did not
fundamentally differ from those worn by Hindus in
• A single length cloth draped around the body, over the
shoulders and fastened with a pin or a belt. This was a
comfortable dress to be worn in a hot and humid
climate which prevailed in India in comparison to the
weather from where these people migrated.
• Lower garment was called paridhana or vasana. It was
usually such a cloth fastened around the waist with a
belt or a string which is called mekhala or rasana.
• Upper garment was called Uttaiya and worn like a
shawl over the shoulders. This upper garment was
usually discarded at home or in hot weather especially
by the people belonging to lower strata.
• Third garment called pravara was worn in cold season
like cloak or a mantle.
• This was general garb of both sexes and varied only in size and in the manner of
• Of poor people, sometimes the lower garment was a mere loincloth, but of rich was
up to feet.
• In many sculptures, the lower cloth is pleated in front and held with a long girdle.
Sometimes the girdle appears to the end of cloth itself.
• This might have been the precursor of the modernsari.
• Sometimes the end of the cloth was drawn between the legs and fastened at the
back in the manner of dhoti.
• Stitching was not unknown as is evident from the depiction of women in jackets and
• Men too draped pieces of long clothing around them during
the Vedic period.
• The most initial attire of Vedic men were 'Dhotis', which are
similar to a Dupatta but slightly longer. However, men
draped the Dhoti around their waste and partitioned it with
• There were no upper garments required by men in this era,
therefore, the Dhoti was the only piece of clothing they
• Another similar garment worn by men was the 'Lungi',
which was simply draped around the man's waist and
pleated in the center, but is not partitioned.
• However, when Vedic people learned to stitch, they made
'the Kurta' which is a loose shirt like upper body garment.
• Then, came the 'Pajama' which resembled a loose trouser
With these costumes from the early and later years, hope
you have learned many new facts about the Indian culture
• As the Vedic people were in the initial stages of stitching
clothes, the easiest piece of clothing for women was 'the
Sari'. Even though the initial styles of draping the Sari were
very basic, they were later altered on a regional basis.
• However, the most common manner of draping the sari was,
wrapping one end of the cloth around the waist, and
throwing the other end over the shoulder covering the bust
• A blouse or a 'Choli' was later incorporated as a part of the
sari, as an upper body garment with sleeves and a neck.
• A sari is known to be the most elegant woman's clothing in
the Indian culture. Another similar type of Vedic clothing is
'the Dupatta', which is the smaller version of the sari.
• It is only a few meters long and was usually used in the later
Vedic period as a part of sophisticated garments such as,
'Ghagra Choli', where the Ghagra is a long skirt worn with a
blouse and the Dupatta.
• Women used to wrap it around their waist, pleated in front over the belly and drape
it over their shoulder covering their bust area and fastened it with a pin at the
shoulder. ‘Choli’ or blouse, as an upper garment was introduced in the later Vedic
period with sleeves and a neck.
• A new version of sari, little smaller than sari, called dupatta, was also incorporated
later and it was used to wear along with ghaghara (frilled skirt up to feet Most initial
attires of men in those times were dhoti and lungi. Dhoti is basically a single cloth
wrapped around the waist and by partitioning at the center, is fastened at the back.
• A dhoti is from four to six feet long white or colour strip of cotton.
• Generally, in those times, no upper garment was worn and Dhoti was the only single
clothing that men used to drape it over their bodies.
• Later on, many costumes evolved like kurtas, pajamas, trousers, turbans, etc.
• Wool, linen, diaphanous silks and muslin were the main fibres used for making cloth
and patterns with grey strips and checks were made over clothes
• The Shunga Empire was an ancient Indian Brahmin
dynasty from Magadha that controlled vast areas
of the Indian subcontinent from around 187 to 78
• The dynasty was established by Pushyamitra
Shunga, after the fall of the Maurya Empire. Its
capital was Pataliputra, but later emperors such as
Bhagabhadra also held court at Besnagar (modern
Vidisha) in eastern Malwa.
• Pushyamitra Shunga ruled for 36 years and was
succeeded by his son Agnimitra.
• They fought the Kalinga, the Satavahana dynasty,
the Indo-Greek Kingdom and possibly the
Panchalas and Mathuras.
• Art, education, philosophy, and other forms of
learning flowered during this period including small
terracotta images, larger stone sculptures, and
architectural monuments such as the stupa at
Bharhut, and the renowned Great Stupa at Sanchi.
CLOTHING OF MAURYA AND SUNGA
• Women tied their antariya in different ways.
• Originally opaque, it later became more and more
• A simple small antariya or strip of cloth, langoti was attached
to the kayabandh at the center front, and then passed
between the legs and tucked in at the back.
• A longer version of the antariya was the knee-length one,
being first wrapped around and secured at the waist, the
longer end then pleated and tucked in at the front, and the
shorter end finally drawn between the legs, Kachcha style,
and tucked in at the waist at the back.
• Another version, the lehnga style, was a length of cloth
wrapped around the hips tightly to form a tabular type of
skirt. This was not drawn between the legs in the kachcha
• The uttariyas of upper-class women were generally of
thin material decorated with elaborated borders and
quite often worn as a head covering.
• Their kayabandhs were very similar to those of the
men. In addition, they sometimes wore a patka, a
decorative piece of cloth attached to the kayabandh in
front by tucking in one end at the waist.
• The main garment was the antariya of white cotton, linen or
flowered muslin, sometimes embroidered in gold and
• For men, it was an unstitched length of cloth draped around
the hips and between the legs in the kachcha style,
extending from the waist to the calf or ankles or worn even
shorter by peasants and commoners.
• The antariya was secured at the waist by a sash or
kayabandh, often tied in a looped knot at the center front of
• The kayabandh could be simple sash, vethaka; one with
drum-headed knot at the ends, muraja; a very elaborate
band of embroidery, flat and ribbon-shaped, pattika; or a
many-stringed one, kalabuka.
• The third item of clothing called uttariya was another length
of material, usually fine cotton, very rarely silk, which was
utilized as a long scarf to drape the top half of the body.
• The uttariya was worn in several ways to suit the
comforts of the wearer: very elegantly by those at
court, who drape it on both shoulders or one shoulder,
or diagonally across the chest and casually knotted at
the waist, or it could even be worn loosely across the
back and supported by the elbows or wrist, and in many
other ways according to the whims of the weather.
• But for the labourer and the craftsman, it was more a
practical garment to be tied around the head as
protection from sun, or tightly around the waist leaving
the hands free for work, or again as a towel to mop the
face when sweating.
• Its uses were endless for the poor sections of the
society and for them it would be made of coarse cotton.
HEADGEAR AND HAIRSTYLE
• Women generally covered their heads with the uttariya,
worn straight or crosswise, often resplendent with beautiful
• The hair, centrally parted, was made into one or two plaits
or in a large knot at the back.
• The uttariya could be worn simply hanging down at the back
or secured to the head with a headband, or with one end
arranged in a fan at the top of the head.
• Skullcaps were sometimes worn under or over the uttariya
to keep it in place, or at times it could be decorated with a
fringe or pendants.
• Helmets too are seen as headgear for phrygian women who
probably wore long-sleeved tunic with tight fitting trousers
and a phrygian cap which was conical and had ear flaps.
• In India, the Amazons wore in addition, the crossed-at-chest
belt vaikaksha, with metal buckles, shield, and sword.
• As regards male headgear, in the early Mauryan period
there is no trace of the turban mauli, but in the Sunga
period we find great emphasis on this form of male head
• These were remarkable headdresses in which the hair
itself was often twisted into a braid along with the
• This twisted braid was then arranged to form a
protuberance at the front or the side of the head but
never at the center top, as only priests could use this
• Over the turban a band was sometimes used to hold it in
place. In addition, decorative elements like a jewelled
brooch or a jhalar could be attached to the turban, or
one end folded in pleats and tucked in like a fan.
• Sewn garments which had been used by the Persian soldiers
were sometimes utilized for military dress by the Mauryans.
• This consisted of a sleeved tunic with cross straps across the
chest to carry the quiver, and a leather belt with sword.
• The lower garment was more often the Indian antariya
rather than the Persian trousers.
• The headgear was usually the turban or headband, whereas
the Persians had worn the pointed cap.
• The mixture of foreign and indigenous garments is
interesting as it shows one of the early phases of evolution in
the costumes of Indians.
• This came about in the colder north, where the Persian
garments were more suitable, climatically and functionally,
in case of soldiers.
• Although, coats of mail are mentioned in the Arthshastra
there is no visual evidence of it in this period.
• Women wore
Satlari - 7 stringed necklace
Mekhala - 6 stringed necklace
Paklari - 5 stringed necklace
Chaulari - 4 stringed necklace
Tillari - 3 stringed necklace
Kantha- Short necklace
Karnika - Earring in form of triratna or triple gem or Buddhist triad, pecular
• Patna - Armlets of serpent shape
• Karnika - Trumpet shape earrings
• Baju Band - Simple leaf-patterned bangle
• Kangan - 3 bangles on each wrist
• Atkan - Beads or pearl string worn over the
• left Shoulder and under the right arm
Lambanam - Very long chain necklace
Kara - Anklets of twisted wire
Sitara - Star-shape forehead ornament
• The material used most frequently were gold and precious stones like corals,
rubies, sapphires, agates, and crystals. Pearls too were used and beads of all kinds
were plentiful including those made of glass.
• Certain ornaments were common to both sexes, like earrings, necklaces, armlets,
bracelets and embroidered belts.
• Earring or karnika were of three types-a simple ring or circle called Kundala, a
circular disc earring known as dehri and earrings with a flower-like shape known
• Weaving of fine and coarse varieties of cloth was well established.
• Cotton, silk, wool, linen and jute fabrics were readily available.
• Furs and the better varieties of wool and silk like tussar, called kausheya like
Eri or Muga silk of Assam, yellowish in its natural color but when bleached
called patrona, were used.
• Kaseyyaka (High quality cotton or silk) and the bright red woolen blankets of
Gandhara were worth a small fortune each.
• A rain proof woolen cloth was available in Nepal. Resist dyeing and hand
printing in a pattern on cloth has been mentioned by Greek visitors to the
court of Chandragupta Maurya, as is the Indian glazed cotton cloth which was
in common use by 400 BC.
• Material similar to the khinkhwab (which is the interweaving of silk and gold
or silver wires beautiful floral pattern) was in great demand and even
exported to Babylon long before the Mauryas.
• Cotton, wool and a fabric called karpasa were available in the north in both
coarse and fine varieties.
• There were also fine muslins often embroidered in purple and gold and transparent
like later-day material which came to be called shabnam (morning dew).
• The coarse varieties were used by the populace.
• Woolen cloth, avika, from the sheep’s wool was either pure white (bleached) or dyed
pure red, rose, or black.
• Blankets or kambala were either made by completing the edges with borders or
braids, or woven wool strips were joined together.
• The process of felting (pressing the fibers together, instead of weaving) was also
• All varieties of wool were available, coarse for making head-dresses, trappings and
blankets for richer class.
• Washer men were also dyers, rajaka, and they perfumed garments after washing
• Four primary color were recognized in the dyeing of textiles: red (dyed with safflower
and madder), white (through bleaching), yellow (natural color of yarn and saffron),
and blue (indigo leaves).
• Fabrics were also woven in patterns and printed for use as carpets, bedcovers,
blankets, and clothes.
• The Kushans established their empire in the first century AD and were
contemporaneous with the Satavahana (Andhra) and western Satraps (Sakas)
kingdoms during part of the second century AD.
• Contact was established with many parts of western Asia and the Mediterranean by
means of envoys. This naturally helped foreign trade, and the influx of foreigners,
Kushans, Sakas, and Indo-Greeks, gave even more impetus to trade relations with
KUSHAN TEXTILES AND CLOTHING
• The Buddhists represented there were dressed in the classical Greek and Roman
garments, the chiton, rimation, stola, tunica, chlamys, etc.
• The ordinary dress consisted as usual of an antariya, uttariya and kayabandh, with a
turban for men.
• Kushan costumes may be divided into five types: the costume worn by (i) indigenous
people-theantariya, uttariya, and kayabandh, (ii) guardians and attendants of the
harem-usually the indigenous and sewn kancuka, red-brown in color, (iii) foreign
Kushan rulers and their entourage, and (iv) other foreigners such as grooms, traders,
etc. There are fifth category- a mixture of foreign and indigenous garments.
• The Kushan (Indo-scythian) dress had evolved from a nomad culture based on the use
of the horse.
• Scythian and Iranian races and resembled particularly that of the Parthians. It
consisted of a ruched long-sleeves tunic with a slit for the neck opening, simple or
elaborately decorated. The close-fitting knee-length tunic was sometimes made of
leather, and with it could be worn a short cloak or a calf-length woolen coat or caftan,
worn loose or crossed over from right to left and secured by a belt of leather or
• Besides these two upper garments, occasionally a third garment
the chugha was used.
• The chugha was coat-like and decorated with a border down the chest
and hemline, and had slits to facilitate movement.
• The trousers could be of linen, silk or muslin in summer but were
woolen or quilted in winter. These loose or close-fitting
trousers, chalana, were tucked into soft padded boots with leather
• Along with this was worn the scythian pointed cap of felt, bashylk, or
peaked helmet or head band with two long ends tied at the back.
• Although, the clothes were simple, they were often adorned with
stamped gold or metal plates, square, rectangular, circular, or
triangular sewn in lines or at the central seams of the tunic.
• Their purpose was not only decorative but functional as well, as they
helped lift the tunic in the middle for riding, by gathering the cloth
along the seams.
• The latter is not passed between the legs as the kachcha style, but is
worn crossed-over in the lehnga style. Simple stitched skirts, ghagri,
with a side seam and nada or string to hold them up at the waist are
also seen. They are gathered in folds from lengths about 6-8 feet, and
have a decorative border at the hem and at the centre front seam. 29
• The tunic, stanamsuka, is form-fitting with long sleeves, a simple round neckline, and
flaring at the hemline. Besides the above mentioned, the lehnga
style antariya and uttariya is sometimes worn.
• But very little in the way of elaborate jewellery is used.
• There are also some figures of women wearing close fitting ruched trousers with a long-
sleeved jacket and an uttariya.
• The pravara or chaddar, a large shawl, continued to be worn by both sexes as
protection against the cold and it was known to have been perfumed with bakul,
jasmine and other scents.
• The purely indigenous antariya, uttariys and kayabandh continued to be the main
costumes of Indians with slight modifications.
• The kayabandh became a more loosely worn informal piece of attire, and was a wide
twisted sash used mainly by women in many delightful ways to enhance the suppleness
of the waist.
• In central India textiles were of lightweight cotton, tulapansi. Both indigenous and
foreign skills were plentiful but still very expensive.
• Antariya were very rarely decorated and when they were, they appear to have been
either embroidered, woven, or printed in diagonal check designs enclosing small
• Turban cloth for rich women were often diagonally striped with every third line made
• This bejewelled material was also used to cover beds and seats.
• Many other geometric patterns of checks, stripes and triangles were also printed and
• It is only from literary sources that we know of the textiles and dyes available in the
Kush Hand-Knotted Carpets
o In a list compiled of fabrics recovered from the
ancient silk route, fabrics in the following color
were found: bright blue, light blue, dark blue-
copper, dull gold buff, bronze-brown, dark bronze-
green, crimson, pink, crimson brown, rich red,
yellow, yellow-brown, yellow-green, rich dark
Antariya : worn extremely short in kaccha style; the end that is passed between the
legs has been tucked in at the back; the other piece is looped to mid-thigh in front
and the end tucked in a small looped frill at the centre
Kayabandh : there are two : one is a wide sash tied in a loop on both sides to the
knees with steamers at each side of the hips hanging to floor length; the other
iskakshyabandha, a thick jewelled roll worn aslant which has a large clasp at the left
Mekhala : five-stringed pearl or jewelled hip belt, it holds the antariya and
cloth kayabandh in place
Hara : necklace of pearls, probably strung on thread or wire and worn between the
Kantha : Short necklace of beads with central pendant and looped chains
Keyura : simple armlets, of looped design in gold or silver
Valaya : bracelets of two kinds : the central one consists of a series of rings like a
wrist band; on both sides are larger rigid bracelets
Kundala : square earrings decorated with a flower motif and with pearls suspended
Nupura : anklets-wide rings with an elaborate design
Anguliya : finger rings of solid gold
Mukuta : bejewelled crown on the head and a head band
Hairstyle : small symmetrical curls at the forehead, hair tied in a looped knot
projecting vertically at the back
COURT LADY [Begram]
Ghagri : simple narrow calf-length skirt stitched at the centre-front
border, it has either a drawstring through it to is rolled over a string; this
is an example of the earliest form of a stitched lower garment for women
kantha : short flat necklace with decorative design
Keyura : armlets of same decorative design as forkantha
Valaya : simple ring-type bangles
Kundala :simple ring-type earrings
She rests her pitcher on a head-rest probably of cane, like an inverted
Tunic : Kushan type with long ruched sleeves
Antariya : could bechalana-Kushan loose trousers
Kayabandh : twisted sash
Hara : long necklet worn between the breasts
Valaya : three bangles are visible on the right hand
Nupura : heavy ring-type anklets
Hairstyle : hair at the front is divided into three portions, the central one is made into
roll, the two at the side are combed downwards with tassels suspended
She carries a long spear and round embossed shield. A mixture of foreign and
Antariya : worn in lehnga style, simply wrapped around and tucked in at the left
Uttariya : thrown casually over the shoulders
Tunic : with front opening, held at the neck by button; long ruched sleeves have
ruching held by jewelled bands or buttons; tunic is form-fitting
Mekhala : four-stringed girdle with clasp and decorative leaf at the centre
Hara : one long pearl necklace worn between the breasts and one short one with a
Kundala : large ring-type earrings
Head-dress : chaplet of leaves or turban with a central flower worn around the top
knot of hair
Sitara : round ornament on the forehead
YAKSHI: FEMALE DOOR-KEEPER[Gandhara]
Anatriya : sari-like, worn in the kachcha style, the other end being taken across the
body and over the left shoulder
Kayabandh : simple sash, twisted in parts
Uttariya : worn across the back and over both shoulders, the left end is loosely tucked
in at the waist
Hara : pearl necklace worn between the breasts
Kundala : simple disc-like earrings
Nupura : heavy double rings on the ankles
Hairstyle : chaplet of leaves
Tunic : calf-length and heavy quilted, with braid at the bottom edge
Chugha : a coat which is longer than the tunic, worn open at centre front; it
has a decorative braid at the centre front and hem with probably long
Belt : of metallic decorative plaques
Boots : padded, with straps around ankle and under the boot held together
by a decorative clasp; either the boots are calf length or baggy trousers
(chalana) have been inserted into short boots
This is the dress of Kushan for foreigner of Saka-Parthian origin. He holds
two swords in decorative scabbards.
Chugha : calf-length with a wide richly embroidered border down the
centre-front opening, hem and edge of long sleeves (probably ruched);
the material of the coat has small rosettes and a V-neck and there is a
round motif on the right sleeve
Tunic : Kurta-like undergarment visible at the neck
Chalana : baggy trousers tucked into calf-length padded boots; there is a
wide band of vine pattern at the centre from toe to top (not visible in
drawing); straps around the ankle and instep
Kantha : short necklace with pendant
Antariya : worn in kachcha style
Armour : chain armour made of scale or
rhombus-patterned plaques, fastened
together with strings (like a Japanese or Tibetan
armour); the end of the sleeves, waist and hem
are strengthened with cording; the skirt portion
is made of parallel rows of rectangular plaques
Mauli : turban made of twisted roll of cloth
Equipment : round shield and spear
This is a mixture of foreign and indigenous
costume. The armour is Graeco-Roman.
Antariya : worn in kachchastyle up to
Tunic : knee-length, a fully quilted
garment with thick cording at the
waist, neck and hem.
Quilted upper garments are still worn
in north India in winter. Mixture of
foreign and indigenous costume.
Antariya : transparent calf-length and worn in thelehnga style
Armour : scale armour with V-neck and short sleeves; the skirt portion is
of square-linked design and of mid-thigh length
Tunic : Visible at the hem and sleeves
Equipment : sword belt with flat, short sword; strap across the chest,
probably for quiver; round shield with patterned design
Mauli : turban wound several times and tied at the right side
• The Sātavāhana Empire was an Indian dynasty
based from Dharanikota and Amaravati in Andhra
Pradesh as well as Junnar (Pune) and Prathisthan
(Paithan) in Maharashtra.
• The territory of the empire covered much of India
from 230 BCE onward. Although there is some
controversy about when the dynasty came to an
end, the most liberal estimates suggest that it
lasted about 450 years, until around 220 CE.
• The Satavahanas are credited for establishing
peace in the country, resisting the onslaught of
foreigners after the decline of the Mauryan Empire.
• The Satavahanas declared independence some
time after the death of Ashoka (232 BCE), as
the Maurya Empire began to weaken.
• They were not only worshipers
of Vishnu and Shiva but also other incarnations
of Gauri, Indra, the sun and moon.
Early Satavahana Costume [200-100 B.C.]
• In the first Century BC we find tunics, Kancuka in the stripes
or beehive design worn by attendants or hunters.
• The kancuka are of mid-thigh length with short or long
sleeves; in some the opening is on the left side, and in
others it is at the front.
• The tunic worn by a king in hunting dress has no discernible
opening at the neck, so it is probably at the back.
• Necklines too differed in that some were V-shaped and
others were round in shape.
• An elaborate turban ushnisa, intertwined with the long
black hair of the aborigine wearers was also worn.
• The Dravidians aboriginal village women too changed their
costume using short antariyas, large uttariyas with elaborate
board borders covering the head and back, tikkas on the
forehead and a series of conch or ivory bangles on the arms.
• Except for the skirt, they looked very much like the
Lambadis who are a gypsy tribe of Deccan today.
• In the royal court dress of the Mauryan-Sunga people the
female attendant wore transparent long antariyas with
loose kayabandhs tied in a knot at the centre having
beautiful ornamental tips.
• Their many –stringed girdles or mekhala were made of
beads. Shoulder-length hair held by fillets or top knots
tied at the centre of the head seems to denote that these
attendants were foreigners, although nothing in the
garments worn seems foreign.
• The king and most of his courtiers wore
indigenous antariya, short and informal at home, with
the longer style worn in a variety of ways on ceremonial
occasions. With this the decorative kayabandhwas tied in
different styles and knots.
• The kayabandh could be tied like a thick cord or be worn
looped in a semi-circle at the front with conspicuous side
tassels, or be made of thick twisted silk. The ushnisa was
always worn and a crown or tiara was used when
Textiles and Dyes :-
• Coarse and fine varieties of cotton were in great demand.
• Silk formed an important part of rich person’s wardrobe.
• A very cheap material made of hemp was worn by the weavers and by labourers
of all kinds.
• Wool was not need much in the part of India ruled by Satavahanas, which had a
warm climate, but it was used in the form of chaddarsor blankets in winter.
• There was a variety of Dyes available from Vedic times, indigo, yellow, crimson,
magenta, black and turmeric. Varieties and mixtures of colors known to those
countries with which the Satavahanas did a great deal of trade, like China, Persia
and Rome, must also have been incorporated to extend their range of colored
• Printed and woven designs on textile were plentiful and embroidery in gold was
also common among the richer classes.
• The uttariya, in particular, was very often of silk and embroidered with flowers all
over, or had a pattern of birds along with flowers.
• Precious stones were often used in the borders of these uttariyas or they were
dyed blue or red, but a spotless white remained the favourite with men.
Military Costume :-
• Soldiers wore short-sleeved tunics or jackets, with elaborate headgear
consisting of either a turban with a topknot, chin band and earflaps or two
topknots with a turban.
• They were equipped with axes, and bows and arrows, or carried sickles.
• Palace guards however wore the antariya with a heavy cloak draped over
the left shoulder.
Headgear and Hairstyles :-
• The aboriginal jungle women wore rolls and headbands
with peacock feathers attached. Village women and
commoners wore their hair in a simple knot at the nape
covered by a large uttariya, which, at times, had
elaborate broad borders. Court attendants and women
of the richer classes wore their hair more fashionably,
either in a topknot on the right side with a loop of
flowers suspended or in a plait. A fillet, simple or gold
embroidered could be worn to hold it in place.
• the long hair of men was worn intertwined with lengths
of cloth to form an ushnisa in a variety of ways.
Frequently it had a knot - the original top knot of the
aboriginal-covered with the cloth of the turban. This
knot could be at centre front or protrude over the
forehead in a conch-shell shape, or the tuft of hair could
be visible on top of the turban.
• Jewellery in this period had a massive primitive character in strong contrast to that
worn in the later Satavahana period. When indigenous garments are shown on men,
whether at court or in villages, all wear some form of jewellery. But when the foreign
dress, the kancuka or tunic, is worn by hunters, attendants and soldiers, very little or
no jewellery is seen. Most often it consists of just earrings of the wheel pattern type.
• Indigenous jewellery however, consisted of Lambanam, earrings, and a pair
of kangan and bajuband for the males. Women did not wear the baju band but wore a
large number of bangles made of conch or ivory, disc-type earrings, the lambanam,
and tikka on the forehead. Women attendants at court wore, in addition,
[100 B.C - A.D. 250]
Male costume :-
• The uttariya for both men and women was usually white
and of cotton or silk. It was however, at times, of
beautiful colors and embroidered.
• Men could wear it across the back and over both
shoulders are merely thrown over the chest, and they
seldom wore it as a head covering.
• The antariya was still worn by both sexes in
the kachcha fashion, which meant that one end was
passed between the legs and tucked in behind, but this
way of draping had its own fanciful fashions. For men it
was normally to the knees or even shorter .
• A stitched skirt-like foreign garment called
the kancuka was frequently used by attendants, grooms,
guards and so on in the king’s court.
Female costume :-
• The antariya appeared to have been made of almost transparent
cloth and was worn very tight and clinging in the case of women. It
is almost invisible in the early Andhra sculptures with only double
incised lines to show the drape.
• The kayabandh tied in a bow-shaped knot was worn by both sexes
to give further support to the uttariya at the waist. This item was
worn in a variety of ways.
• The kayabandh in the form of a simple sash was called the vethaka.
• The women also wore the pattika, which was made of flat ribbon-
shaped pieces of cloth, usually silk. Thekalabuka was a girdle made
of many strips plaited together, and the muraja had drum-headed
knots at the ends instead of tassels.
• A stitched skirt-like foreign garment called the kancuka was
frequently used by attendants, grooms, guards and so on in the
king’s court, and an indigenous long tunic was worn by eunuchs
and other attendants in the women’s apartments in the palace.
Women too wore the short kancuka with an indigenous antariya,
or when calf-length it was worn with a kayabandh and uttariya, and
in many other ways.
Headgear and Hairstyles :-
• The ushnisa of the men was generally wrapped around three
or four times after covering the topknot of hair with one
end. It was normally white but could also be of dyed cloth,
and simple turbans were held in position by ornamental gold
strips or pattabandha. Gold turbans were worn on special
occasions. Kirta or crowns were also in use, of which one
type was a short cylindrical cap studded with gems and
ornamented with designs.
• The maulibandha was an elaborated turban wound with the
hair which itself was decorated with strings of pearls or
• The turban normally covered the hair, which was arranged in
a large topknot at centre front, and could have jewelled
clasp or maulimani at the centre to hold in place the folds of
• This topknot could also be pear-shaped or elliptical to give it
variety. Without the turban, the hair could be worn in one or
two topknots, or one loop and one topknot. Short hair
parted in the middle and reaching the neck was fairly
prevalent, especially among the common people. 46
• Women wore their hair in several ways.
• One was in the form of a plait, praveni, at the back, decorated with jewelled strips and
tassels, as Bharat Natyam dancers do today.
• Another common style was the coil with five delicate plaits dangling from it, a favourite
with all classes of women. In the kesapasa style the hair was looped close to the head in
an elongated knot at the back of the head or lower downs at the nape.
• This could have veni, a small fillet of flowers, around it or a short garland of flowers
dangling from it. If the hair was made in a simple knot it was known as kabaribandha.
• Special ornaments were designed to be worn in the hair.
• The chudamani was lotus-shaped, its petals composed of pearls and precious stones. It
was worn normally in the centre of the knotted hair.
Military Costume :-
• Saka foreign soldiers were employed by some of the Andhra
kings in the royal bodyguard.
• They wore a heavy tunic with ruched sleeves which reached to
the knees or mid-thigh. With it was worn a form of churidar or
ruched trousers, and their helmet or sirastra had earflaps.
• A wide sash was worn at the waist. Sometimes a short quilted
tunic was worn with a heavy drape over the left shoulder along
with a turban-a mixture of the foreign and indigenous garment.
• Footwear was not incumbent for soldiers and was probably worn
by foreign rather than indigenous troops.
• The equipment of a trained fighter was mainly his sword, shield,
bow, axe and spear; sometimes the mace, club, and javelin were
• Swords were either curved or straight and could have sharp edge
on one or both sides. There were 30 inches long and beautiful
crafted. Handles of Ivory or horn and hilts of precious metals
encrusted with jewels were carried by those in command, and
simpler ones of bamboo or wood were used by the common
• Strands of pearls were the main motif in all forms of jewellery particularly in the late
period of the Satavahana empire. Both men and women wore earring, bracelets,
armlets and necklaces as in previous periods, particularly the indigenous people. The
more common design in earring was the kundala shaped like a coil, which could be
simple or decorative.
• The talapatra originated from a small strip of palm leaf rolled and inserted into the
lobe. This shape was later made from ivory or gold and could be gem-studded. A full-
blown lotus design the kanaka- kamala set in rubies is still popular in South India, and
a couple of generations ago the karnika or jimiki continued to be in use.
• Necklaces or hara were mainly strung with pearls, sometimes consisting of only a
single string called ekavali. A necklace of gems and gold beads was called yashti, the
central bead being often larger than the others. Several of these necklaces could be
worn together. Sometimes three or five slab-like gems, phalaka, were inserted at
regular intervals. These held together the several strings of which a necklace was
composed, and whole was called a phalakahara.
• A simple perfumed cotton-thread necklace was known to have been in use, and tiger
claws were strung around the necks of children probably to ward off the evil eye.
• Armlets or keyura for both sexes were close-fitting and
could be engraved or set with jewels, or be in the
shape of a snake; also they could be straight-edged or
have an angular top edge. Jewelled girdles of one or
many strings, mekhala, were worn only by women.
These were made in several varieties from the
tinkling kanci with bells to the rasana style made of a
linked chain or strung with pearls, beads or precious
• Anklets, worn again only by women, had an
astonishing variety. The manjira was hollow and light,
coiling several times around the ankles loosely, and
tinkling when in motion as it had gems inserted in the
GUPTA PERIOD (320 CE-750 BC)
• The Gupta empire was founded in northern India at
the beginning of the fourth century AD after a long
period of chaos which ensued when the Kushan
empire ended in the middle of the third century.
• It is only with the foundation of Gupta Empire, that
there was once again unity and peace over almost
the whole of North India.
• The Gupta empire lasted for more than two centuries
and was vast: it stretched over the major part of
north India and to Balkh in the east.
• Known as the ‘Golden Age’ and the ‘Classical Period’,
in the age of the Guptas a degree of balance and
harmony in all the arts and an efficient system of
administration was achieved.
• Most probably the Guptas is that the Guptas came
from Bengal. At the beginning of the 4th century the
Guptas ruled a few small Hindu kingdoms
in Magadha and around modern-day Uttar Pradesh.
Gupta Empire Clothing
• Clothing in Gupta period was mainly cut and sewn garments.
• A long sleeved brocaded tunic became the main costume for
privileged people like the nobles and courtiers.
• The main costume for the king was most often a blue closely
woven silk antariya, perhaps with a block printed pattern.
• In order to tighten the antariya, a plain belt took the position
• Mukatavati (necklace which has a string with pearls), kayura
(armband), kundala (earring), kinkini (small anklet with
bells), mekhala (pendant hung at the centre, also known as
katisutra), nupura (anklet made of beads) were some of the
ornaments made of gold, used in that time.
• There was an extensive use of ivory during that period for
jewellery and ornaments.
Gupta Empire Male Clothing
• Stitched garments became very popular in this period only.
Stitched garments became the sign of royalty. But antariya,
uttariya, and other clothes still were in use.
• Gradually, the antariya worn by the women turned into gagri,
which has many swirling effects exalted by its many folds. That’s
why, dancers used to wear it a lot.
• As it is evident from many Ajanta paintings, women used to wear
only the lower garment in those times, leaving the bust part bare.
• Later on, various kinds of blouses (Cholis) evolved.
• Some of them had strings attached leaving the back open while
others was used to tie from front side, exposing the midriff.
• Calanika was an antariya which could be worn as kachcha and
lehnga style together.
• Women sometimes wore antariya in saree style, throwing one end
of it over the shoulder, but the main feature is that they did not
use it to cover their heads as it was prominent in earlier periods.
• In early period the Gupta soldier had worn the antariya with his bare
chest inadequately covered by the six jewel-striped channavira. This
evolved into the more efficient foreign-influenced kancuka with
trousers or short drawers, jhangia, and high boots, with a helmet or
cap, and sometimes a fillet to tie back the hair.
• Later the soldier’s uniform was either a short-or-long-sleeved knee-
length tunic, kancuka, which had a centre front opening with V-
shaped or round neck.
• The tunics were sometimes spotted with black aloe wood paste,
which could be a type of tie-dye, or bandhni as it is known today.
• This may have been their version of the camouflage on military
• The leaders or chieftains of the various contingents in the army were
decked in pearl-embroidered tunics made from the famous
stavarkha cloth of Sassanian origin and chaddars of many colors, or
in the complete Central Asian outfit consisting of a dark blue quilted
tunics with a V-shaped neck and long full sleeves with soft dark
trousers and a saffron turban of Indian origin instead of Central
Asian conical cap.
• Armour was worn as further protection. It was known as the cinacola,
probably of Chinese origin.
• It was sleeveless covering the front and back, and was made of metal.
• A helmet for soldiers was known as sirastrajala.
• Bows were of two kinds: the simple one-piece bow and the classic double-
curved bow probably made of three pieces.
Headgear & Hairstyles
Female Headgear & Hairstyles:
• Female hair is worn with a centre parting which is covered by a
decorative ornament attached to the mukuta (tiara) at the
forehead and the jewelled braid at the left side of the nape; the
braid then continues like a fillet around the crown of the head.
• Highly decorative in embossed gold or silver, has little pendants
suspended from it at the forehead.
• Female votary's hair is worn in a large pompadour style on the
crown of the head with tiny curls along the forehead.
• From the elaborate tiara-like ornament around the head,
strands of pearls form a net over the hair-style; there is a central
ornament at the forehead from which are suspended strands of
• Large flowers above the ears are used as further ornamentation
to the hairs
Male Headgear & Hairstyles:
• For men, a tiara or crown with a band inset with pearls and
something festooned with garlands replaced the turban.
• This slowly became more common for the king when informally
dressed in indigenous garments; attendants wore this as well with
• In royal entourage, the turban continued to be worn by high
officials, like the chamberlain, ministers, military officers, civic
officials and so on, where it had become a distinctive symbol of
their respective ranks.
• It could be of fine muslin tied over a large knot of hair at the
centre of the forehead or a striped turban worn flat and twisted
giving a rope-like effect to the cloth when wound.
• The ministers were often Brahmins with all their hair shorn
keeping only the ritual top knot.
• Generally, hair was worn loose by men, shoulder-length and
curled, in the gurnakuntala style, sometimes with a head band to
hold it in place, or adorned with a strand of pearls.
Gupta Empire Jwellery
• Gold or hirana was more commonly used than ever before,
especially in the Deccan where there were gold mines.
• Gold ornaments for both men and women were exquisitely made,
acquiring a new delicacy as beaten work, filigree work and twisted
wire was skillfully combined with jewels-particularly pearls.
• Kundala was the general term for earrings, which were mainly for
two types, both of which were circular.
• One was a large ring type and other was a button type, karnaphul,
with a plain or decorated surface.
• The sutra was a chain for the neck.
• When made of gold with precious stones in the centre, it was called
• But this was the era of the pearls necklaces or muktavali a single
strand of small pearls was the haravsti, one of big pearls, the
tarahara, and one with gem in the centre of the pearl was known as
• The mekhala or girdle was worn by women quite low on the
hips and suspended from the katisutra.
• The latter was probably a string tied at the waist and hidden
under the upper edge of the antariya, in which it was rolled.
• The mekhala hung in a seductive clasp at the centre from this
string, over or under which hung a small pleated frill of cloth.
This is still seen in the Bharata Natyam dancer’s costume of
• Men to hold the antariya used a simple straight belt or
sometimes above it, which could have a buckle either square,
round, rosette-shaped, or rectangular.
• On the women’s ankles the kinkini, with its small bells, tinkled
as they moved, or there nupura (anklet) could be made from
jewelled beads, maninupura. Although women of all classes
wore anklets, they are not seen on the feet of goddesses in
• Flowers in the form of necklaces, mala, were worn on the head,
entwined in the hair, and looped around the neck or waist or
worn crosswise in garlands on the chest.
Textiles And Dyes
• In the Gupta age the finest textiles were available, printed, painted, dyed, and richly
patterned in weaves or embroidery the art of calico printing improved considerably and
many of the traditional prints of today originated in this period.
• There were checks, stripes, and bird and animal motifs, for example geese, swans, deer,
elephants, and so on.
• Delicate embroidery on muslins, consisting of hundreds on.
• Delicate embroidery on muslins, consisting of hundreds of different varieties of flowers
and birds, was skillfully executed, along with intricately woven brocades, which
continued to be in vogue.
• These brocades with floral designs from the Deccan and Paithan were like
the Jamiwar andHimru fabrics of today.
• The former is a silk floral design on a wool background and the latter has cotton for its
• Gauze from Decca was noted for its transparency and was said to be so fine that the
only evidence of its presence was the delicate gold edging of cloth. This had led to the
further sophistication of wearing a transparent garment over a brightly colored one.
• Before this, the transparency of the cloth had only accentuated the nudity below.
• Gold and silver woven brocades of Benares, which had a very ancient tradition,
were still used, and in the north and the north-west the art of embroidery reached
the highest peak of development.
• Silk was woven in black and white check patterns especially for cushions, which had
handsome covers of, gold, silver or dark-colored cloth embroidered or patterned in
silver stars or four-petalled flowers, or of striped materials with chess-patterned
• Special bedcovers known as nicola and pracchadapata, and rugs or floor carpets
known as rallaka and kambala were made.
• Dyeing too was very sophisticated and the diagonal stripes, which were popular,
merged in each other in places as soft and dark tones. This beautiful effect was
created by the resist dye technique.
• Tie dying of Gujarat and Rajasthan, in many different patterns, was
called pulakabandha and was used a great deal in the upper garments of women.
The process of bleaching was perfected, and all thin brocades, which had been the
prerogative of rich now, percolated to form the festive and bridal attire of the
poorer classes, for which a special cheaper variety known, as rasimal was available.
• Special costly silken fabric known as stavaraka was originally manufactured in Persia
and is known to have been imported into India. This was a cloth studded with
clusters of bright pearls and worn by royalty.
• The Mughal Empire was an empire
established and ruled by a
Persianate dynasty of Chagatai
Turco-Mongol origin that extended
over large parts of the Indian
subcontinent and Afghanistan.
• The beginning of the empire is
conventionally dated to the founder
Babur's victory over Ibrahim Lodi,
the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate
in the First Battle of Panipat (1526).
• The ladies and gents of the Mughal empire wore
beautiful and expensive clothes made from the
finest materials and adorned themselves with
jewellery from head to toe.
• The garments of Mughal ladies were made of the
finest muslins, silks, velvets and brocades.
• The muslins used for their clothes were of three
types: Ab-e- Rawan (running water), Baft Hawa
(woven air) and Shabnam (evening dew).
• Muslins called Shabnam were brought from Dacca
and were famous as Dhaka malmal.
Mughal Men's Clothing:
• The Jama: The Yaktahi Jama (an unlined Jama)
originated in Persia and Central Asia, where it was
worn both short and long, over a pai-jama to form
an outfit known as the "Bast Agag". In Persian, the
word "Jama" means garment, robe, gown or coat.
The definition of the Mughal Jama is a side-
fastening frock-coat with tight-fitting bodice,
nipped-in waist and flared skirt, reaching the knees.
• The Chogha: This is a very ancient garment which
we have seen all throughout the Persian, Mongolian
and other areas. The word Chogha in Mughal times
referred to a long sleeved coat, open down the
front, usually down to hip length or knee length.
• Dhoti and Paijama :- During the Akbari period, men wore trousers invariably with
their jamas (in this context, coats), and there is no artistic evidence to suggest that
dhotis were ever worn in combination with the coats. Therefore, while Rajpal may have
worn a dhoti in the privacy of his home, in public he wore trousers.
Paintings of the period indicate that the paijamas were loose and flowing from the
waist to the knee, where they became snug down to the ankle. Often the fabric on the
lower legs is wrinkled, suggesting that the paijamas were longer than the leg itself and
pushed up, just like the sleeves of the jama, in a display of conspicuous consumption.
At no time do the paijamas match the jama in colour, and solid colours appear to have
been the fashion during Akbar’s reign.
• The Patka : - Around the waist of the Jama, a long piece of fine fabric was tied like
a sash. This was the Patka, from which a jeweled sword could be suspended.
Patkas were hand-woven with complex designs, or embroidered, or hand-painted
or printed. Many made for royalty showed textile craftsmanship at it's best.
• Pagri or Turban :- The most important accessory for an Indian man was his
turban, which proclaimed his status, religion, caste and region of origin. To submit
a turban to anybody was a sign of total subjugation and the removal of a turban
was the most humiliating punishment that could be inflicted on any man.
Mughal women’s clothing :
• Peshwaz : - Loose jama-like robe, fastened at
the front, with ties at the waist. Usually high
- waisted and long-sleeved.
• Sometimes several fine transparent muslin
peshwaz were worn, for a layered look.
Sometimes a choli (blouse) was worn under
• Yalek :- A long under-tunic reaching to the
floor, usually with short sleeves or sleevelss.
• Pai-Jama :- This is a compound of two
Persian words "pai" meaning legs or feet and
"jama" meaning cover. Drawstring pai-jamas
have been worn in Persia since very ancient
times. From about 1530 onwards, several
types of pai-jama were worn in India.
• Churidar :- Cut on the bias, much longer than the
leg, so that folds fall at the ankle, worn by men and
• Shalwar :- A triangularly cut pai-jama with a quilted
band at the ankle (poncha) worn by men and
• Dhilja :- A woman's pai-jama made of silk, cut wide
• Garara :- A woman's pai-jama cut loose to the knee
and adding gathers.
• Farshi :- A woman's pai-jama cut without folds to the
knees, and then gathered into pleats to the floor.
Head Wear :-
• Turban :- Mughals tied their turbans, then added decoration by way of
bejeweled bans, pin jewellery or other ornamentation.
• Caps: Caps worn were heavily ornamented and in a variety of styles.
The Chau-goshia, made in four segments
The Qubbedar, dome-shaped
The Kashi ti Numa, boat-shaped
The Dupalli, small narrow cap with front and back points
The Nukka Dar, for nobles, heavily embroidered
The Mandil, usually black velvet embroidered with gold or silver thread
• Mughal Ornaments: - The Mughal ladies loaded themselves with a large
variety of ornaments. Most of the traveler agree that ornaments were the
very joy of their hearts. Different types of head ornaments, ear ornaments,
nose ornaments, necklaces, hand ornaments, waist belts and ankle/foot
ornaments were used in the Mughal Empire.
• Footwear :-
Ornamented shoes with turned up toes (Jhuti) were Persian in style, and
were worn by men and women. Some other footwear were:
• The Kafsh, worn by nobles and kings
The Charhvan, with a curling tongue fixed to the toe
The Salim Shahi, decorated in gold
The Khurd Nau, very lightweight, made of kid leather
Lucknow was most famous for it's footwear in Mughal times, and the art
of Aughi, embroidery on leather and velvet footwear, was very popular.
• The Rajput population
and the former Rajput
states are found
spread through much
of the subcontinent,
particularly in north,
west and central India.
• Populations are found
in Rajasthan, Gujarat,
Pradesh and Bihar.
TEXTILES AND CLOTHING
• The state records of Jaipur mention special departments in charge of royal
costumes While the Ranghkhana and the Chhapakhana are departments that took
care of dyeing and printing the fabrics respectively.
• The siwankhana ensured its immaculate tailoring Two special sections, the
toshakhanaand the kapaddwadra, took care of the daily wear and formal costumes
of the king.
• Rasjasthani daily wear such as Saris, Odhnis and Turbans are often made from
textiles using either blockprinted (above) or tie-and-dye techniques.
• The Rajput kings, owing to their close proximity to the Mughal court style in their
• Richly brocaded material from Banaras and Gujarat, Embroidered and woven
Kashmiri shawls and delicate cottons from Chanderi and Dhaka were procured at
• This formal dress made for Maharaja Bane Singh of Alwar (1815-57) shows a
strange mixture of Mughal and Traditional styles.
• Rajput's main costumes were the aristocratic dresses (court-dress) which includes
angarkhi, pagdi, chudidar pyjama and a cummerbund (belt).
• Angarkhi (short jacket) is long upper part of garments which they used to wear
over a sleeveless close fitting cloth.
• Nobles of Rajputs generally attired themselves in the Jama, Shervani as an upper
garment and Salvar, Churidar-Pyjama (a pair of shaped trousers) as lower
• The Dhoti was also in tradition in that time but styles were different to wear it.
Tevata style of dhoti was prominent in Desert region and Tilangi style in the other
• Varying styles of turban denote region and caste.
• These variations are known by different names such as Pagari and Safa.
• A Pagari is usually 82 feet long and 8 inches wide.
• A safa is shorter and broader.
• The common man wears turbans of one color, while the elite wear designs and
colors according to the occasion.
o Achieving different styles
with just a length of material
requires great skill.
o Specialists in this art, called
pagribands, were employed
by the royal courts, but
Rajasthanis generally take
pride in practicing and
perfecting the art of turban-
• "To capture the sensuality of the female figures in Rajput paintings, women were
depicted wearing transparent fabrics draped around their bodies".
• Rajput women's main attire was the Sari (wrapped over whole body and one of the
end thrown on the right shoulder) or Lengha related with the Rajasthani traditional
• On the occasion (marriage) women preferred Angia.
• After marriage of Kanchli, Kurti, and angia were the main garb of women.
• The young girls used to wear the Puthia as an upper garment made of pure cotton
fabric and the Sulhanki as lower garments (loose pyjama).
• Widows and unmarried women clothed themselves with Polka (half sleeved
which ends at the waist) and Ghaghra as a voluminous gored skirt made of line
satin, organza or silk.
• Other important part of clothing is Odhna of women which is worked in silk.
• Jewellery preferred by women were exquisite in the style or design. One of the
most jewellery called Rakhdi (head ornament), Machi-suliya (ears) and Tevata,
Pattia, and the aad (all is necklace).
• Rakhdi, nath and chuda shows the married woman's status.
• The footwear is same for men and women and named Juti made of leather.
NIZAMS OF HYDERABAD
• The Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad, popularly
known as the Nizam of Hyderabad, was a
monarch of the Hyderabad State, now divided
into the states of Telangana, Karnataka and
Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Nizam,
shortened from Nizam-ul-Mulk, meaning
Administrator of the Realm, was the title of the
sovereigns of Hyderabad State was the premier
Prince of India., since 1724, belonging to the Asaf
• Hyderabad was the largest and most prosperous
of all princely states in India. Hyderabad State
had its own army, airline, telecommunication
system, railway network, postal system, currency
and radio broadcasting service. In spite of the
overwhelming Hindu majority, Hindus were
severely under-represented in government,
police and the military. 82
The Khada Dupatta or Khara Dupatta(uncut veil)
is an outfit composed of a kurta (tunic),
chooridaar (ruched pair of pants), and 6 yard
dupatta (veil) and is traditionally worn by
Sometimes the kurta is sleeveless and worn over
a koti resembling a choli.
The bride also wears a matching ghoonghat
(veil) over her head.
They used to wear jewellery as follows , tika ,
Jhoomar , Nath , Chintaak also known as Jadaoo
Zevar, Kan phool , Satlada , Ranihaar , Jugni ,
Gote , Payal , Gintiyan.
• The Sherwani is the traditional men's garb of Hyderabad.
• It is a coat-like tunic with a tight-fitting collar (hook & eyelet
fastening), close-fitting in the upper torso and flaring
somewhat in its lower half.
• It usually has six or seven buttons, often removable ones made
from gold sovereigns for special occasions.
• The material is usually silk or wool.
• A groom may use gold brocade for his wedding sherwani, but
otherwise good taste dictates understated colors, albeit with
rich and textured fabrics.
• The sherwani is usually worn over a silk or cotton kurta (long
shirt) and pyjamas (baggy pants with a drawstring at the waist).
• The sherwani is closely associated with Hyderabad, although it
has spread since to the rest of India and to Pakistan. Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru adapted its design and turned it into
his trademark Nehru Jacket, further popularizing the garment.
Textile And Dyes
• Remarkable for their robust design, lavish materials and bold workmanship,
these textiles represent the quintessential qualities of the arts of the
• India’s court embroideries transformed simple fabrics in to powerful
decorative objects by a profuse layering of precious metals.
• Traditionally neary all types of metallic embroidery were worked on a
wooden frame, karchob.
• Gold and silver thread, kalabattu, sequins, sitara, coiled wires,
salma/dabka/ghizai; twisted pairs of badla, gokhru and the domed sequin,
katori as well as silver, gilt and colored foil were applied to highlight the
designs and create richly dimensional and reflective surfaces.
BRITISH RAJ (1700-1947)
• The history of the British Raj refers to the period of
British rule on the Indian subcontinent between 1858
• The system of governance was instituted in 1858
when the rule of the East India Company was
transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen
Victoria (who in 1876 was proclaimed Empress of
• It lasted until 1947, when the British provinces of India
were partitioned into two sovereign dominion states:
the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan,
leaving the princely states to choose between them.
• The two new dominions later became the Republic of
India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (the eastern
half of which, still later, became the People's Republic
• The province of Burma in the eastern region of the
Indian Empire had been made a separate colony in
1937 and became independent in 1948. 87
• The British entered India as traders, but they stayed back as rulers and ruled the country
for almost 200 years.
• They came with their own cultural values and identity, very British clothing and fashion
statements, leaving the Indians admiring the GORA SAHIBS and the MEMSAHIBS.
• The average Indian wanted to look special and thus wanted to copy their styles.
• Fashion is a representation of cultural identity. This cultural identity was changing.
• The modern Indian was convent educated, secular, patriotic, wanted to belong to INDIA
and not to a particular religion, state or culture.
• Women curled their hair, wore Indian sires, but with foreign blouses and petticoats.
EFFECT OF BRITISH SAHIBS AND MEMSAHIBS
• The Royal Men and women of India were the
first to adopt the “western Fashion
Statements”, but curiously always shifted to
their traditional garb, during celebrations and
ceremonies like birth, marriage and death.
• They felt that they were modern and had to
have tastes like the British to reflect that.
• It was in fashion to dress up like the modern
British, read English literature, smoke the
pipe, and wear.
• A hat and shoes emulating the English.
• Eating with fork and knife was considered
classic, and people who ate with their fingers
were labeled barbarians.
EFFECT OF BRITISH RAJ ON INDIAN CUSTOMS
• The influence of the British also broke down traditional norms which dictated that
only one or another caste could wear a certain style or piece of clothing,
promulgating the spread of western fashion through all ranks of society.
• Indians employed as labourers or servants by the British were often required to
wear western attire, and yet this was generally not seen as derogatory treatment
but instead as a privilege.
• It was a chance that the Dalits, or lower caste people or new coverts to Christianity
got to dress up like the westerners, to eradicate any class differences.
• Thus they voluntarily gave up the loin cloth for trousers. It may be noted that while
Gandhi gave up his western attire during the struggle of independence to drive his
point home, Baba Sahib Ambedkar (who shaped India's constitution, but was from
the lower caste), is always seen in the Western Suit, as it gave him the feeling of
• The Indian cotton was exported to Britain and manufactured garments from
Britain were imported in India.
• These were mass produced, mill made garments and were much cheaper than
anything that Indians had seen before.The result was as expected.
• Indians started buying these cheaper garments and rejected their traditional
• The economy was at a decline.
• It was at this time that mahatma Gandhi introduced home spun khadi and
encouraged people to make and wear their own clothing, boycotting the foreign
• Slowly and steadily even after the Indian independence the majority of Indian
men and women changed their dressing habits at least in public, to the modern
western styles in order to appear forward thinking and forward moving.
• The British as tradesmen imported lots of textiles from India, calico, chintz,
cashmere to name but a few. India was one of the richest countries and had
maximum textile export in the 17th and 18th Century Indian Fabrics were treated
as exotic and the British fell in love with cotton and indigo.
• These Indian textiles influenced British tastes before the Raj. But once the British
started ruling, everything changed, a new culture emerged and so did a new
• The textiles being manufactured in India were also anglicised, this can be seen by
the drastic change in the motifs from Lotuses to Tulips, and the style of depiction
• “By the beginning of the Eighteenth Century most of the flowering trees are
displaying exuberant Baroque Curves